So, if I was a recruiter and asked you to tell me about yourself, what would you say? Take a second…it’s difficult right? You’re trying to sell yourself, but how do you sum about two decades of experiences that have made you complex, qualified, and an attractive candidate?
Did you talk about your hometown, or that you like dogs, or did you talk about your GPA? All valid points! But I know how impressed I am when someone is in touch with who they are and can articulate their viewpoints concisely. Let’s strive to be that person who can tell you what kind of work they do, what kind of work they are best suited for, and how they react to situations without blinking an eye. This kind of information is probably going to be more useful to HR than what your favorite flavor of ice cream is (mine’s is vanilla, what does that say about me?).
Being able to articulate who you are and what you’re about in 60 seconds is a very powerful skill–sometimes you have one brief chance to make a lasting impression, and you want to make the most of it. In the professional world, this 60 second spiel is called “an elevator pitch.” It is often the beginning of a process called “networking” (I like to think of it more as trying to make a friend to take some of the pressure off).
When it comes to summing up work experiences, this blog post is not the best medium to give you the individualized responses you deserve. But if you set up an appointment with a career counselor or drop in to resume review hours, the CDC may be able to help with that (shameless plug…)! My two cents on summing up your job/current projects is this: keep it simple. Say, you are research assistant and you have a slew of responsibilities; it may be hard to listen to a laundry list of duties you have. Your resume/LinkedIn page can cover all of that. Condense it down.
Luckily for us, we do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to picking phrases that will help the listener realize they are lucky to be in the presence of a self-aware, highly intelligent individual. There are a variety of personality quizzes that can help phrase how you respond to challenges, how you influence others, your interests, how you make decisions, how you process information, etc.
*Interest Inventory: http://www.myplan.com/assess/interests.php
*Visit the CDC for your free MyPlan login and a delightful chat with our career counselors to access the Myers-Briggs and Interest Inventory links!
For the sake of keeping this blog post a somewhat manageable length, I will talk about the DISC. My results said my strongest personality factor is “Steadiness” and interpreted this as “[having] the ability to do the task in hand and to do routine work with patience and care.” I also got this nice little blurb that reads: “You enjoy interacting with and helping people. You are open to new ideas and procedures. Although you are calm and controlled you still project enthusiasm and optimism. Your natural supportive, listening and empathetic behavior makes you a good coach.” I would not read off this nicely packaged blurb as a pitch because it very general, but I did let these phrases marinate. My main take-aways were that my personality traits allow me to be successful in situations where I have to interact with people and that I am detail oriented (my Myers-Briggs reaffirm this). I think of successful work experiences I have had in the past and what work I enjoy doing, and these results still hold true.
So what does this all mean? Well, I hate to give this answer because it feels like a cop-out, but you can use these however you want. You can choose to verbalize some of these phrases when trying to explain yourself to another person, or you can use these results to guide what type of work opportunities to look for. Or because CTM, these results will manifest in some unique situation and I would love to hear about it! But all I am saying is if someone dropped that they “may lose interest in projects once the challenge has gone and they tend to be impatient and dissatisfied with minor detail” (quote from DISC results) and referenced an example of this, I would be floored at how well they knew themselves.
But, what about you! Did you find these quizzes accurate? That in certain lights, your results accurately reflected your spirit and verbalized your attitudes and interests so accurately you were mad you didn’t think of them yourself? Fantastic! Write some of these phrases down and use them! Or, were you unimpressed by these quizzes and likened them more to generic fortune cookie outputs? Super duper! Think of why your results did not resonate with you and maybe you can reference those.
In conclusion, you are smart, capable and deserving of others’ time. Take the time to come up with a brief statement to help other people realize it quickly. These personality quizzes can help, but they are not the only way to go about describing your personality–if you don’t feel comfortable using them, don’t. Talk it out with your friends, your family, your pet turtle: just practice your pitch. Regardless of what tools you use (or don’t), just keep in mind what you want people to remember about you.